Ranchi, May 14 (PTI) Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Friday launched a free vaccination drive for people in the age group of 18 to 44 years in the state and appealed to citizens to get inoculated to help the government contain the spread of COVID-19.
Over 1.57 crore people in the state are in the 18-44 years age bracket.
The state government could not roll out the inoculation drive for these people from May 1 as it was facing a shortage of vaccines.
'After a long wait, we are launching the vaccination drive for people in the 18-44 years age group. We are giving them vaccines for free. I appeal to the citizens to come forward and take vaccine jabs to protect themselves and their families,' Soren said.
He also urged people to join the vaccination drive and help the government break the chain of coronavirus infection in the state.
The government commenced the inoculation drive with a stock of 6.48 lakh vaccine doses, an official said.
'Around 30,000 people in the age group of 18 to 44 years have already registered their names for vaccination.
There is a lot of enthusiasm about the immunisation process among people in cities, while residents in rural areas have a reservation for it.
'The government is putting every effort to make people aware of the benefits of the vaccines,' the official said.
Apart from requesting people through various campaigns, the government has been promoting awareness drives in tribal languages.
The government has allotted 1.34 lakh doses of 'Covaxin' and 1 lakh vials of 'Covishield' for the state capital Ranchi, which has been witnessing the maximum number of new cases and deaths in the last few weeks, he said.
According to the official, the government also allocated 39,910 doses for Dumka, 39,730 for Palamu and 32,340 for Giridih.
An order for 50 lakh doses of vaccines has already been placed, he said.
At present, the first dose of vaccine has been administered to over 27.76 lakh people, including frontline workers and those above 45 years of age, while over 6.39 lakh citizens received the second shot.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 tally in the state jumped to 3,06,248 with 4,991 fresh cases, while the death toll reached 4,290 as 108 more people succumbed to the disease.
Altogether, 75,84,831 samples have been tested in Jharkhand for COVID-19 so far.
The chief minister said the state is putting every effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, without impacting the delivery of essential services.
The government has extended the lockdown-like restrictions with strict provisions, including seven-day mandatory quarantine for people visiting the state, till May 27.
Operations of inter and intra-state buses have been suspended, while private vehicle owners are required to obtain e-passes.
The government restricted the maximum number of attendees at weddings to 11 with the provision that marriages can be conducted either at homes or at courts.
Organising any ceremony during weddings has also been prohibited in the state.
The state has already prohibited all indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than five persons.
Education institutes and coaching centres have been remained shut and all examinations postponed. Cinema halls, multiplexes, stadiums, gymnasiums, swimming pools and parks, among others, have also been closed in the state. PTI NAM BDC BDC